Anorak | Chris Tappin: Beef Casserole, Jeremy Clarkson and President Assad’s kids

Chris Tappin: Beef Casserole, Jeremy Clarkson and President Assad’s kids

by | 24th, February 2012

CHRIS Tappin has gone to Heathrow. The 65-year-old is being extradited to the US. There he faces arms dealing charges. If guilty, he faces up to 35 years in prison. If innocent, he will be behind bars as the wheels of justice turn.

Mr Tappin is being extradited before the case is heard in a British court.

The Times describes him as “silver-haired, bespectacled and slightly deaf“. How this works in his defence is unclear. We have been previously told that he “heads the Kent Golf Union…plays bridge and dotes on his grandson”.

Relevance? Well, none. But to golf haters, it mus be pretty damning. The Times adds:

Last night, after sharing a last meal of beef casserole at his elegant home in Orpington, he said goodbye to his two children – something he described as the “hardest thing” he had ever had to do.

The Times is doing as many British papers have down and presenting Mr Tappin as a man of humble and mainstream interests.

Doubtless some news organs in Syria reminds readers that President Assad likes to play rummy and never misses his kids in a school play.

Says Mr Tappin:

“No destination has been given to me yet. I don’t know what flight it is or where it’s going.”

His wife Elaine, who broke down in tears as the moment of parting neared, added: “I am incredibly sad and worried for Chris. This is like going into a vacuum. Our lives are put on hold. I don’t know when I will see him again. It’s like we’re living in a pretend world.”

Mr Tappin is off to American under pain of law. He takes with him a “small bag with a change of clothes and books including autobiographies by Jeremy Clarkson and the golfer Seve Ballesteros”.

Will Mr Tappin be joining a gang in US prison system?

“I suppose whichever one gives the most protection. I’ve never been in a gang before.”

Kent golfers blush.

The story is news because Mt Tappin is victim of a ridiculous law.

Mr Tappin used to own a freight forwarding company. In 2006 Briton Robert Gibson, a British client, hired the company to ship five industrial batteries from Texas to an automotive company in Amsterdam. Gibson was being watched by the FBI. The company he was working with, Mercury Global Enterprises (MGE) of El Paso, Texas, was a creation of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Gibson was arrested and accused of trying to send the batteries to Iran for use in Hawk air defence missiles. Tappin was named as a co-conspirator. Gibson was found guilty and sent down for a two-year sentence.

Mr Tappin says he is innocent. But the US judiciary is not listening yet. They want the accused on their turf.

Mr Tappin faces allegations that he offered to sell specialised batteries for Hawk missiles to undercover American agents posing as Iranians.

He has denied any wrong doing, saying he is a victim of a sting operation.

In February 2008, Mr Tappin was indicted on three counts by a grand jury in El Paso.

And here is the madness: Mr Tappin did not defend himself. Why? Because the court in the US did not give him a chance to. Still, America is not The UK, is it? It’s an independent country, right? Wrong.

In May 2010, Police arrested Mr Tappin. The US wanted his extradition. So. He’s is being extradited. Says he.

“I look to Mr Cameron to look after my rights and he has failed to do so. I have no rights. Abu Qatada is walking the streets of London today and we cannot extradite him. He has more rights than I have. If I was a terrorist I would not be going to America. The Conservative government, while in opposition, promised to reform the law and they failed to do so and they’ve let me down, they’ve let you down, they’ve let the whole country down. I think it’s a shame, a disgrace.

Abu Qatada is a father of five. He does the school run. He does not play golf. 

Nick Clegg, said when he was the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman:

The British people do not understand ”why there appears to be such an imbalance between the minimal information required to extradite a UK citizen to the US compared to the more substantive justification required to extradite US citizens to the UK”

What now?

Posted: 24th, February 2012 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink